Let’s start off with a simple dogma issue:
We teach and define that it is a dogma Divinely revealed that the Roman pontiff when he speaks ex cathedra, that is when in discharge of the office of pastor and doctor of all Christians, by virtue of his supreme Apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine regarding faith or morals to be held by the universal Church, by the Divine assistance promised to him in Blessed Peter, is possessed of that infallibility with which the Divine Redeemer willed that his Church should be endowed in defining doctrine regarding faith or morals, and that therefore such definitions of the Roman pontiff are of themselves and not from the consent of the Church irreformable.So then, should anyone, which God forbid, have the temerity to reject this definition of ours: let him be anathema. (see Denziger §1839).
— Vatican Council, Sess. IV , Const. de Ecclesiâ Christi, Chapter iv
So was written back in 1870 during the First Vatican Council.
Proponents of papal infallibility point to scripture saying that Peter is the rock and so on and so forth. The way the Church equates a hand-picked successor to an elected official highlights the lunacy of the situation. An elected official that I must add is influenced by society and the politics of the time. I for one do not believe that a human being can ever be perfect enough to be infallible regardless of context. I will make a counter argument against this bit of dogma, hence making me anathema.
Let us begin with a few points:
- Man has free will
- Man can not control God
First off, let us examine how a pope gets that status. It is by election. By people — fellow clergymen. When the white smoke comes up at St. Peter’s there is a new pope. In fact the ballots themselves make up the smoke itself. In voting there is discord. There is disagreement. Eventually someone comes out on top. But to imply that the vote of the people can force the hand of God to impart this special power to that man is blasphemous if anything. The argument against is that the Holy Spirit guides the process. But the process of elevating a man to pope to have this power must force God to comply with the people.
Likewise to consider that even if one believes in the holy spirit that its message can unambiguously be heard — unambiguous to the level of infallibility is also ludicrous simply because man has free will. To assume otherwise implies that God is in control of the man claiming the power.
A good example of such silliness is the proclamation by Pope Pius XII that Mary was taken — body and soul to heaven. The notion that the body of a person can be removed from the universe is in direct violation of all sorts of physical laws, preservation of mass and energy the primary one. (Either she’s still somewhere in the Milky Way zooming away at near the speed of light toward “heaven” or she vaporized in a flash of energy equivalent to roughly a gigaton of TNT (assuming 120 pounds for her weight she contains ~ 4.9 * 10^18 J of energy)) Keep in mind that this was declared in 1950 — it was not dogma before then. Prior to that point one didn’t have to believe this.
Similar is the immaculate conception dogma brought about in 1854. Mary — a mortal and normal woman of her time — contained two X chromosomes. Any Y chromosome would have rendered her more male-like than female like. The fact that she bore a son — likewise normal and mortal — implies the spontaneous creation of a Y chromosome out of nothing. From what? All to prove somehow that sex is bad. This is before Watson and Crick et. al. showed us how this stuff really worked. (Ok, if the Holy Spirit wanted to create a sperm out of pure energy it would take the equivalent amount of energy would be about 10kgs of TNT assuming it weighs a microgram)
Tomorrow I’ll delve into a more concrete reason why I don’t want to be associated with the Church, but I wanted to get some simple dogmatic disagreements out first. It’s the easiest form of heresy in my opinion.